Today’s Scrip-Bit   9 October 2021 John 3:17.

John 3:17.     For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Oh, what a perfect Saturday morning for sleeping in, at least in my area! We are talking about dark skies on a fairly warm morning for this time of year, and a lulling, drizzle of heavenly blessings. But here I am up early, working. Chuh! That’s because I went to bed early this morning, that’s early by my standards. (smile) 

Anyway, it’s no use griping about it now, because I’m already up and at ‘em. So, like we do every Saturday, let’s check out the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. I pray the Lord will give me the wisdom and understanding to do a good job on them, because it’s all for His glory. 

This first one says: ‘All great changes are preceded by chaos.’ Now I don’t know if it’s absolutely true, but there is a fair amount of truth to it. Just look at all the great changes forced upon the world by the numerous wars and strife that’s happened down through the ages. 

Look at what’s happening right now. Chaos is in our midst, with serious differences over the cause and effect of the Covid 19 pandemic, the strife that’s been injected over the vaccine, the lust for dictatorial power that’s currently running rampant, the greed of the rich, who are getting insanely richer while the world is beset by numerous natural and man-made disasters, poverty and economic misfortune, climate change, racial differences etc. etc. There’s no doubt that when the dust settles, our society will be significantly changed… but who knows how. 

And let’s not forget the chaos and great changes made by the coming of our Lord and Saviour two thousand years ago. Jesus turned His then Jewish society upside down and the world right side up! Remember what He said: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ (John 3:17) And the world has never been the same since He came…neither will it be, after He comes again! (smile) 

The second quote tells us that: ‘If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things—you don’t have enough goals.’ I don’t know about not having enough goals nuh, but rather of having the wrong goals. For if you even have one goal of sufficient interest and importance to you, then that will have you getting up every morning burning with passion to fulfill it. What’s the point of having goals that aren’t actively cultivating your interest? None whatsoever! 

The problem with today’s society, why we are so easily bored, is that life’s just too easy for too many of us. There are so many amenities now that we can easily get by without hungering and thirsting after anything, so serious goal setting is not as important as it used to be back when things were harder. 

A real goal is something that calls for elbow grease, for getting out of your comfort zone, that causes you to see a light at the far end of the tunnel and drives you towards it. But since so many of us are averse to working hard, or working at all, who wants to do that eh? Consequently, when we do set goals, they are often of the easy, lacklustre kind and obviously don’t fire us up. 

And that’s where this next quote comes in: ‘Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you can imagine it.’ Yes friends, our dreams, the things we would like to acquire or do, are extremely important, and they are the things that should usually become our goals, because they will inspire us to get up and get a move on. And the second part of the quote does have some truth to it. 

Generally speaking, you must be able to imagine something before you can do it. You don’t always need to see the finished product, but there must be ideas about whatever you want to accomplish continually buzzing about in your head. Otherwise, you won’t have the necessary incentive to keep working on it. 

That’s why the following quote is important. ‘The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious.’ No doubt about that friends. You just have to look around at all the amazing inventions in our current world to see it. They were created by those who were thinking ahead. They had an idea, a dream, a goal, to make something better, or do something differently, and they kept working at it, despite numerous failures, until they succeeded. A good example of that is the vast and tentacle-like network of social media we have nowadays. Some people saw the possibilities and took advantage of their opportunities. That’s what it takes to be successful in this world. 

And the same thing goes for believers in Christ Jesus. We also need to be forward thinking; seriously gauging possibilities and seeking opportunities to bring others to the knowledge of Christ. That’s our job as His earthly messengers and ambassadors. So don’t think for one moment that Christians don’t also need dreams, goals and successful operations in Jesus’ name. We just have to do them within His framework; that of His holy word. 

His church is His big organization here on earth. But how is that working eh? Not as good as it ought to. It cannot, with all the divisions, disunity, strife, anger and evil that’s currently going on in it. And one would think that in these terrible times, the church of Christ would take the obvious opportunity to be a calming, settling and uniting force, working to bring peace, LOVE and the Spirit of Jesus to the situation. But unfortunately, it is just as divisive and strife filled as the rest of the world. 

What can we as individuals do eh? Not a whole lot, except sincerely show Christ to those around us and pray. And what we call our Serenity Prayer is the last of our quotes for today. So, let’s pray it nuh. ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’ 

Yes my fellow saints, that’s why Cousin Sol advises us through the Good Book that: ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding,’ (Prov. 4:7) It’s absolutely imperative that in in these dangerous, evil and ungodly times that the children of God seek His wisdom and learn what we need to do, by studying His word, talking to Him, and being led by His Holy Spirit. 

This is an opportunity for all true believers to step up to the plate and make a real good and Christ-like difference in the lives of others and in our scarred and scared world. That’s what Jesus is expecting of us. So please, let’s not disappoint Him nuh. Much LOVE!

…when things are getting out of hand…that’s when Christians step up and take control…                                                                                                       

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2021 1 John 4:11.

1 John 4:11.     Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.

Glory be friends! It’s the first official day of spring in these here parts! But although the sun’s shining brightly and the day seems fine, it’s still got a chill to it. And I won’t be satisfied until I get to stand in the sun and feel its wonderful heat radiating through me like a heavenly fire! (smile) Yeh, I’m tired of the cold like so many others, although I haven’t been out in it as much because of the pandemic, and it hasn’t really been a bad winter. It’s just the overlying shadow of the worldwide sickness and strife and confusion that’s killing people’s spirits and joy. 

But please, please, let’s not allow that to happen nuh mih people! It’s not what Jesus wants for us. He wants us to stand strong and steadfast in His LOVE, joy and peace, that’s why He says He came that we might have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) Abundant life is not misery, pain and sadness, but the blessings of Jesus despite the prevailing circumstances. So this Saturday morning, this first day of spring, in this pandemic year of 2021, let’s look ONLY to Jesus nuh! He will allay all our doubts and fears. Sermon done now! (smile) 

And since it’s Saturday, we need to take a gander at the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this past week. Here’s the first one: ‘All great changes are preceded by chaos.’ Now I don’t know about that nuh. Generally speaking, there is some truth to it, but I would hesitate to say that chaos is the harbinger of ‘ALL’ great changes. Yes, chaos, by it’s very disruptive nature does bring change, but serenity and peace, LOVE and joy, a relationship with Jesus that didn’t come through chaos in one’s life, also bring great change. So positive things do bring great changes too. Let’s try and remember that, and don’t think that great change in our lives has to necessarily come from chaotic situations. 

And the second quote tells us: ‘We all get scared and want to turn away, but it isn’t always strength that makes you stay. Strength is also making the decision to change your destiny.’ Hang on a minute there friends, I’m trying to figure out what that quote really means. (smile) 

Hn! I think I’ve got it now. It seems to be saying to me, that in tough situations, we all get scared and want to run away, when sometimes we really need to stay, and it’s not always strength that makes us stay. I guess it could also be fear that keeps us where we are. On the other hand, it also takes strength for us to get up and get a move on, to change the course of our lives, to go where we believe we’re to go. But then too, I guess that fear could also be a motivating factor in our wanting to change our destiny. Hope that makes sense. (smile) 

And I think the last two quotes are basically saying the same thing, so we’ll deal with them together. The first one says: ‘It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are. If you don’t use your power for positive change, you are indeed part of the problem.’ And the second proclaims: ‘If you believe very strongly in something, stand up and fight for it.’ 

And I believe they both hit the nail right on the very head! All of us have strong opinions on something(s), but if all we ever do is talk about it or them, and don’t use whatever power we have to bring about positive change in those areas, then we are indeed a part of the problem. One of our societal responsibilities is to get involved in positive change, not just laze around and talk plenty and do nothing positive. Unfortunately though, that is the mantra of these current times: talk plenty and do plenty negative stuff, especially through the very empowering platform of social media! 

Oh, the many woes that social media is causing in our society! And the sad part is that because we can do it without being recognized and held accountable, too many of us are spewing hatred and evil, lies and disinformation – whatever that means – into the belly of our society and causing even more confusion, chaos and corruption. Yes my people, if we just sit around and do nothing, let the negative forces have a field day, we are indeed a part of the blooming problem! And sadly, that’s what a lot of us are doing; through fear, natural apathy, laziness, or whatever reason, we’re just sitting around while the hatemongers and evil doers have the run of the table. 

And that sorrowful group includes too many of us supposed believers. Yes friends, if we would get up and stand strong, fight for what we claim to believe in, our world would never be in such a stellar mess! And we can pontificate all we want and don’t take serious action, then what we believe and supposedly stand for will be washed right away in the hatred and evil doing that’s currently flooding our planet. I know some of you might think those are harsh, undeserved words, but please, let’s all take a look in the mirror nuh, and then ask ourselves, when last have we really stood up for right against wrong eh? 

When last have we taken a stand for something that Jesus told us we ought to take a stand for? Especially in the past year of the pandemic. If we’re honest, too many of us will realize that we haven’t been very Christ-like or Christian this year, but have been inordinately selfish and thinking only of ourselves. But fellow saints, it is in the times of pain and trouble that our Lord and Saviour expects us to step up and do our best work, because we have the parts, the blessings, the peace, LOVE and joy; all the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us that are necessary to make a positive difference in any situation in our failing and groaning world! 

Ah mih people, I’m chuckling here, because it seems like the ole fella’s been on a roll. But it does hurt my heart when we talk a whole lot of Christ and Christian talk and don’t do anything positive about it. Please remember that God is LOVE, and that God LOVES us, and we’re supposed to LOVE Him back, and each other too. But what is LOVE eh? LOVE is an action word; it means doing, helping, caring, giving…not merely shooting off at the mouth, like so many of us are currently doing. 

And I guess the best scripture on the subject is John’s directive in his first epistle. ‘Beloved, let us LOVE one another: for LOVE is of God; and every one that LOVETH is born of God, and knoweth God. He that LOVETH not knoweth not God: for God is LOVE. In this was manifested the LOVE of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that he LOVED us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we ought also to LOVE one another.’ (1 John 4:7-11) 

It couldn’t get any clearer than that my brethren! The Good Book says that God LOVED us, and He could have just sat down there and allowed us to go to hell like we bloody well deserve! But no! Because of His great LOVE, He took action, broke His own heart and sent His only Son to be a sacrifice for a bunch of ungrateful sinners. Yes friends, true or real LOVE involves sacrifice! 

And now, those same blooming sinners find it ever so hard to help each other. Chuh mih bredrin! Don’t you think that that just breaks God’s heart all over again? It surely does! So let’s try and be truly more Christian and Christ-like nuh friends, cause we all have room for improvement. And that would certainly warm the cockles of God’s heart! Much LOVE!

…all talk…and no action…no sacrifice…means NO LOVE… 

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